Publication of HMRC’s Annual Report, Charter and Q2 statistics

Nov 23, 2020

Earlier this month HMRC published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2019/20 alongside quarter two 2020-21 performance data and the new Charter. The NI Tax Committee of this Institute responded to the Charter consultation in August and recommended that the wording on the important role agents play in supporting taxpayers be strengthened in the revised Charter.

This was taken on board by the Government and is reflected in the newly published Charter. The following message accompanied the earlier mentioned publications.

“Our Annual Report shows us building on our strong track record in collecting the money that pays for the UK’s public services and giving financial support to people – while responding to new and urgent priorities, such as the UK’s exit from the EU and the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the Annual Report on GOV.UK

The report reveals that £636.7 billion was collected in tax revenue last year from around 45 million individual taxpayers and five million businesses. That’s £100 billion more than just five years ago. Most of our COVID-19 work took place after the financial year covered in this report. It is inevitable we will see an impact from COVID-19 on some of our performance figures for 2020-21.

Our quarter two performance results show that, while many customers are using HMRC’s online services to get the information they need, between July and August, HMRC received 7.3 million calls from customers to the helplines. The department aimed to maintain consistently high levels of customer service but it has been clear that since the start of the pandemic this wouldn’t always be possible. HMRC’s enhanced digital services give customers more of the support they need, without having to contact the helplines.

Customer satisfaction for digital services was 86.6 percentage points in the second quarter of 2020 to 2021, almost 4 percentage points higher than the best quarterly result in 2019 to 2020. You can read all the data on GOV.UK.

What is evident in the months ahead, is the need for HMRC to continue:

  • supporting businesses and individuals through COVID-19 and beyond
  • guiding businesses through the end of the UK’s transition period and helping them prepare for the biggest border change for more than 40 years
  • encouraging customers to complete their Self Assessment tax return ahead of the 31 January 2021 deadline even if they can’t afford to pay in one go
  • collecting tax debts from those who can afford to pay
  • to tackle serious fraud and criminal attacks on the tax system, while increasing wider activity to make sure customers pay the right tax.

It is a careful balance between bringing in revenue for the UK’s public services, maintaining a fair and level playing field for all and prioritising customer support to protect viable businesses. 

After six months of consultation, HMRC has today published its updated charter which sets out its commitment to the highest standard of customer service.  You can read the Charter on GOV.UK.